View from Mount Robert towards Lake Rotoiti

Hi my name is Piers.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing, but I have been asked to write a blog for day 5 of the New Zealand field trip. If that means writing about what I did, then that’s easy. I got up, ate a pie, got in the van and slept. There were however a few stops along the way. Firstly, we climbed up a mountain (Mt Robert) just next to St Arnaud, which looked over Lake Rotoiti and North East towards Nelson (a great way to start the day after the somewhat intended night before). Next, we had a quick look at the golden sand beaches created by erosion of the orthoclase rich granites.

Golden Bay sand, with Benny and Piers checking out the granite that is the source of the sand.

On route to our final destination we had to cross Takaka Hill. But before this, we had to appease the Maori gods by jumping in the resurgence of the Riwaka River (yeah… That was kinda cold). Once on top of Takaka hill, we decided to check out a hole. A rather large hole actually (Harwoods Hole). At about 200 m depth (and very wide), Harwoods Hole is the largest vertical cave in the southern hemisphere.

Evan appeasing the Maori gods.

After visiting the hole, we just had the super relaxing drive down the other side of Takaka Hill, then on to the field hut at Onekaka.

View from Takaka Hill
The forest where Harwoods Hole is located was a filming location for Lord of the Rings.


Harwoods Hole is really deep!